We’re heading towards the 1st anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, and lockdown measures that have kept most of us at home through the year are still in effect.
It can be challenging to keep up the motivation to get out there and exercise, especially when cold winter weather and icy conditions make it easy to stay home. Still, there are many reasons why this is the best time to get moving and stay moving.
To help you shake off the winter blues and get out there for some exercise, we’ve put together a list of the best running shoe brands with supportive insoles, shock absorption and overall foot support to get you walking, running and moving again. We’ll also look at the benefits of walking for your physical and mental health and how orthotic support and stretching can help you stay moving.
Benefits of Walking
During the pandemic, walking has come into its own. With gyms and studios closed, team sports cancelled, and people desperate for some exercise outside of their homes, walking is the perfect way to relax, blow off some stress and take a break from your surroundings. You can walk and avoid other walkers, making it a safe way to exercise during the pandemic.
Walking is also a way to generate ideas and let go of current stresses, making it an essential mental health break for workers who now find themselves living in their workplace. It’s also free, and you don’t need any special equipment or facilities to have a walk. Simply put on your shoes, a coat if it’s chilly and head out the door.
So not only does walking help you feel better overall, but it has significant physical benefits too.
Walking has many documented health benefits not limited to:
- Improves Blood Circulation - Just a simple stroll around the block can help reduce your risk of heart disease, lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke. Researchers found that a 30-minute walk a day can lower your stroke risk by 20% and 40% if you pick up the pace.
- Strengthens Your Muscles and Bones - Walking is also helpful for supporting bone strength and preventing bone loss for people with osteoporosis. Pump your arms while you walk to help tone your arm muscles and your legs.
- Help Your Joints - Walking circulates fluid into your joints as you walk, bringing nutrients, healing fluids and oxygen into your cartilage.
- Lower Mental Decline and Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease - Walking even affects age-related memory decline and can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers found that older individuals who regularly walked each day had half the incidence of dementia and Alzheimers than those who didn’t walk.
- Improves Your Sleep - Walking has been proven to lessen insomnia for people who take a one-hour walk or longer each day.
Four Brands We Love for Exercising
If the above reasons aren’t enough to get you lacing up and out the door, here are some great options for running shoes to give you the support and encouragement you need to get moving.
Asics is a Japanese company founded in 1953. Their line of running shoes offers lots of options in footwear, from high arch support to increased flexibility, so it is easy to find the features you need. They make supportive shoes with high-density foam to help with pronation and give you maximum ground contact. Their stability shoes help with motion control and are lightweight with supportive cushioning.
Best of all, their neutral running shoes accommodate orthotics and are designed to support custom orthotic insoles.
Brooks is a Seattle-based company that only makes running shoes. Brooks’ innovative technology supports runners, and they are the first company to design a shoe with EVA foam to help with overpronation. They are great for people who want lighter shoes and quality craftsmanship and provide support to minimize heel pain with orthotics or on their own.
Hoka One One
Hoka One One is a company that makes supportive shoes for folks who want the maximum possible support when they walk or run. They make shoes with bold colours and bold features.
The Arahi 4 is a groundbreaking stability shoe that prioritizes performance. Also, their new updated upper offers structural support and increased breathability.
Saucony is an excellent brand creating innovative running shoes for urban runners at a reasonable price point. They have their version of cushioning with their proprietary PWRRUN+ cushioning. The Triumph 17 is a shoe that feels like a luxurious protective cushion. It will help make even the longest runs or walks feel like a quick stroll keeping your feet feeling healthy and fresh.
Best Walking Shoes for Orthotics? Orthotics Support with Orthotics Direct
If you have foot pain when you walk or run, flat feet or plantar fasciitis, you may need extra support for walking and running. You can’t walk if you are in pain, and custom orthotic inserts can help fit your shoes and your foot needs and keep your feet feeling strong.
At Orthotics Direct, we carry all your favourites like Asics, Brooks, Hoka One One and Saucony, no matter your foot type. And all of the brands we stock can be custom-fit with our custom insoles. Take a look at our combination package that pairs custom insoles with your favourite running orthotic friendly shoes.
So until we can all meet again, the way we used to, let’s take advantage of a great way to keep healthy and get out there and get moving!